I just noticed there is an important typo mistake in my recently submitted conference paper. Actually it is like inserting a "-" where it shouldn't be and of course the whole algorithm might not converge if you use the above "-" in the formula! Well, if the reviewers try to dig out the mathematical details leading to that specific formula he might notice that it was a typo, otherwise he might claim that the algorithm shouldn't work as it is not stable because of that "-"!!

Anyway, as the submission has closed, i contacted the conference chairs to update the submission with that only change and they said not possible! I also considered putting that in arxiv, but it'll be permanent and I cannot do any future modifications in case!

What about putting the correct version of the paper in my university home page?
Is it fine? Do you generally advise that? I mean if the paper gets rejected, how high is the chance someone else use it in his/her work and publish it earlier than me? is it risky?

p.s: The results and conclusion and the claims are all made correctly and regardless of that typo mistake

  • 2
    You can point out the mistake in an email to the conference conveners. Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 10:11
  • well i just did that and attached a new version for them stating the only difference to the old version is that mistake. I hope they consider it. The last thing i want is a rejection based on misunderstanding caused by a typo! ;)
    – Bob
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 10:18
  • 4
    Don't sweat it. You did what you could at this point, and most chances are either the reviewers catch it (and realize it is likely a typo) or don't notice it at all.
    – Bitwise
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 15:17
  • 1
    "I also considered putting that in arxiv, but it'll be permanent and I cannot do any future modifications in case!" You can update an arxiv publication. (But old versions will remain accessible)
    – T. Verron
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 9:34
  • 1
    @Bob An unpublished arxiv paper is only a preprint, it has less citation value than a peer-reviewed article. If given a choice, someone should prefer to cite the published version of a paper. But if the arxiv paper is cited, subsequent modifications won't break the citations (each revision gets its own arxiv id).
    – T. Verron
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 8:05

3 Answers 3


What you should do is to e-mail the organizers to tell them about it. Then, either they will let you replace the paper with a new version or they will not.

By the way, it happens quite often that papers contains some minor errors. Some reviewers will notice them while other will not notice them. It depends on how much time each reviewer spends on your paper and how attentive they are when reading your paper.

  • Well i hope they are attentive enough, The mistake is like concluding about the rule of positive eigenvalues of something through mathematical equations, but then saying we use negative eigenvalues in the algorithm! Which of course will not work! So i hope they will not look only at the outcome formula and wish they also consider the previous steps resulting in that!
    – Bob
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 8:44

Contact the organizers immediately. For conferences with a deadline on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, it's fair to assume that the final reviewer assignment won't take place until Monday.

  • I did, they said no!
    – Bob
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 20:45
  • 1
    Sorry to hear that. In my opinion, a dick move by the organizers. Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 6:23

A way to "fix" the mistake is to contact the organizers and submit an "errata" sheet (one page) referring to the mistake, the page it is on, the corrected version of the statement, and why the correction is important.

These things happen from time to time, and the "fix" is relatively easy, if embarrassing.

  • So what can they do with that 1 page additional document? since they didn't accepted the corrected paper in the first place and they didn't have any option for supplementary documents!
    – Bob
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 17:12
  • @Bob: In that case, I'd wait until the day of the conference and distribute the one pager as "additional material" when you give your presentation.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 21:28

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